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Okahandja opposition councillors reject election process

Less than 24 hours after being nominated, opposition councillors at Okahandja have rejected the outcome of the nomination process which they now want to appeal to the Magistrate Court.
The councillors are led by newly installed Landless People’s Movement (LPM) mayor Natasha Brinkman, ORPA’s Charl Coetzee, UDF’s Vincent Kariseb and Independent Patriots for Change’s (IPC) Akser Aupindi
The councillors were left frustrated this week after they failed to use their nomination and secondment powers to take hold of the all-important management committee.
By the time the management committee was about to be composed, they had all exhausted their votes with the understanding they would be allowed to vote multiple times.
The magistrate indicated that they could only nominate and second for candidates once, leading to Swapo voting itself into the committee, taking over important positions save for the chairpersonship.
IPC’s Aupindi was left in the cold, taking the back seat as an ordinary member.
A letter seen by Eagle FM penned by the aggrieved councillors argues that Section 22 of the Local Authorities Act was not implemented correctly.
“Members of the council were excluded from the right to nominate and second members for said positions when the Act in Section 22 (2) clearly states that each member may nominate and second a nominee for each position of the management committee,” they submit in their letter.
“Furthermore we believe that Section 12 was misinterpreted with reference to the position of chairperson and vice-chairperson. We believe that these positions were confused with positions on the management committee.
“However, if one reads section 12 in conjunction to section 11, one may come to the conclusion that the chairman of the Local Council in a reference to the mayor and the vice-chairman is a reference to the deputy mayor,” they have argued.
In the meantime, some Swapo councillors have expressed that the letter is not clear on whether the councillors are appealing as a councillor as individual members representing political parties.
They also submit that the letter does not specify to whom the process was unfair as the council is now being understood to be one team.
The letter is further an early indication that the relationship of councillors at Okahandja has started on a rocky path at a time Swapo councillors have expressed a willingness to create a solid team geared towards giving services to residents.

Wonder Guchu

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